Crime fighters in Camarillo have a new tool to help catch crooks--four mountain bikes purchased by the Ventura County Sheriff's Department, which provides police services to the city of 60,000 residents.
Detectives say the sleek new bicycles, put into use last week, allow officers to sneak up on criminals.
"They're quiet and they're more maneuverable than cars," Det. Bill Schierman said. "We can go through shopping centers and apartment buildings a lot more easily."
Police held an open house Tuesday afternoon at the Camarillo Police Station on Las Posas Road to give community members a chance to look over the purchases and see how officers plan to put them to use.
Similar bike patrol programs exist in Thousand Oaks, Oxnard, Ventura, Port Hueneme and most other local cities, Schierman said.
"Camarillo is probably one of the last cities in Ventura County to get a bike patrol," he said.
"Hopefully people will get the message," Schierman said. "Bikes can show up anywhere, any time unannounced. Then criminals won't come to our city to do crimes."